~ 30 ~
Miles has been off all week, quiet and a little strange. It’s been another month since Dad caught us having sex, so we’ve been together now for almost six months. This weekend we are flying down to visit his parents and brother. He has told them all about me and though his mum was surprised, she is eager to get to know me. I’ve met them a few times over the years, but I don’t really know them so I’m a little nervous about it. Maybe Miles is too, that could explain his weird moods.
I’ve got a shift tonight, which I’m just about to go to and that’s it for a whole week. As I pick up my keys, Miles rings me.
“Hey old man.” I smile into the phone.
“You still at home or have you left yet?” he says briskly.
“I’m just about to walk out the door, what’s up?”
“I’m coming up.” He hangs up.
“Okayyyy, that was strange.” I think to myself. He better hurry up or I’m going to be late for my shift.
“Beth, we need to talk.”
“Uh oh. That’s never a good thing.” I smile at him.
“I have tried so hard to keep my mouth shut, because I’m not the type of boyfriend who demands things from his girlfriend.”
“Unless we’re in the bedroom.” I laugh nervously.
“Beth, this isn’t easy to say.”
“Miles, just tell me. You’re freaking me out.”
“I don’t want you to work at Ashely’s anymore.” He blurts out.
“I don’t like it. I go out of my mind every time you are there. Men are touching what’s mine and it’s a horrible jealous side to me. I don’t like admitting it but its true.” He looks so guilty at me.
I can’t speak.
I stare, open mouthed at him.
“I’m sorry Beth, I want our relationship to be based on honesty. And I’ve been lying to myself, telling myself I’m fine with you working there. But that’s not true.”
I grab my bag from the floor and walk out of my apartment. I can still here Miles calling my name as the lift doors close.
All I can think about is it’s happening again. It’s Cameron all over again.
I arrive at Ashely’s without remembering having driven there.
“Hey Bee!” Mark waves and smiles as I walk in the back door, but I don’t manage to acknowledge him.
I stash my bag in my locker, noting the missed calls from Miles. I know he deserves to know why I walked out. Why I didn’t stay to talk about his concerns. I should have told him about Cameron ages ago.
I go on auto pilot for most of my shift. Going through the motions without really realising it. I know it’s not my best performance, but my head just isn’t it. Ashley pulls me aside a few hours into my shift.
“What’s going on with you? Are you unwell?”
“I’m just having an off night.”
“Go and take a break, have a drink and then come back feeling more on, Bee.” She instructs.
Obeying her instruction, I go straight to the dressing room and open the mini fridge. Selecting a premix vodka drink, I go and sit on the red couch, removing my heels. I take a long sip and close my eyes.
“There’s a tired face if I ever saw one.”
I open my eyes and see Sarah changing her outfit.
“You okay, Beth?” she looks at me concerned.
“I’m sure I will be.”
“Uh oh, this spells boyfriend trouble. I’ve got 5 minutes before I need to be back out there. Wanna talk?”
“Do you think about what you will do after you stop working here?” I ask her.
“Fuck no. I don’t plan on stopping this for a while.”
“What if you fall in love?”
“Ah. I guess I will find something else to do. There’s plenty of opportunities.”
“Would you stay here if he asked you not to?”
“Depends. Do I see myself being with him for the rest of my life?”
“Yes. 100 percent yes.”
“Then I stop working here.”
I nod my head. “Thanks Sarah.”
“Anytime. You really love Miles, huh?”
“With all my heart.”
“Then go get him.” She smiles and pats me on the shoulder as she leaves the dressing room.
Deep down I knew what the outcome would be. I’d give up just about anything if it meant Miles was happy. I love him with every fibre of my body. This is where it’s different to what happened with Cameron.
I drink the last of my drink and I feel somewhat better. I go back out there and give the patrons what they came here for. I dance and even do a makeout session with Sarah on the stage. I dance and keep dancing. But it doesn’t feel the same anymore. Not now that I’ve made up my mind.
When my shift is over, I am desperate to get out and see Miles. That’s if he doesn’t hate me. But there’s something I need to do first. I go in search of Ashley…